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Only a necklace

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Last March, we put D in this exact necklace. It was our salvation for a teething baby. Sadly it was broken when we took him to the hospital. I can still vividly remember the nurse tech handing me the broken necklace as they continued to work on my son. We loved that little necklace so much, but it had been discontinued and we weren’t able to replace it. So I started looking to get it restrung. I had numerous failures, the wrong string size, the wrong needle size. I was about to give up.

After 9 months, I finally found the right strung today after 1 final trip through the jewelry section in JoAnns. It got me thinking. It’s only a necklace, but it was so important to me to get it restrung.

Then I realized it was the idea of a life without diabetes, a life when our worst worry was teething pain. After I finished putting the last bead in place today, I accepted that even though this necklace is put back together it too has been changed by this whole event. The beads aren’t in the same order as before, and the string is a different color, but it still works the same. It is still the same necklace.

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Using the tools God gave us.

 

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Everybody at this point has seen the cover for next week’s Time Magazine. It has inspired a lot of controversy, as it was designed to do.  What it should have looked like was something more like this (pictured above)

What really gets me about this whole situation are the responses about how if they are old enough to ask for it they are too old. Well that has inspired me to write about just what is “too old.”  The United States has such a skewed view of reality, our lives of Margarine, Fast Food, and Unrecognizable box foods, has led us to this. 

Did you know that the Average age of weaning worldwide is 4.2 years old?

 

 

 

As with any average that means that there are some that go that long, some that go longer, and some that fall short. According to the National Institute for Child Development,

 

“The average age of weaning in the U.S. is three months. However, the average age for weaning worldwide is 4.2 years. The World Health Organization states that babies should be breastfed for at least two years, which is the average age for the immune system’s maturation. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for a minimum of one year.”

Source

 

3 MONTHS ARE YOU KIDDING ME? That means the US falls short of the worldwide average by a whopping 47.4 months, the WHO recommendation by 21 months, and the AAP recommendation (our own doctors) by 9 months. Now is this pictures starting to come into focus? My son is now 19 months old, and there is no sign that he will be letting up anytime soon. Does that mean that is all he gets..NO! He has a very well rounded diet, and he enjoys that also. His comfort though remains the breast. This not more for me than him? Ummm no.  In spite of his diabetes DS is one of the healthiest children I know. I credit that largely in part to the immune boosting power of breastfeeding. There are days when I wished he would give my boobs a break, but for the most part I still enjoy the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.

For those who say if they can ask for it they are too old.

How soon do you draw the line on this one? If I cut him off when he began to ask for milk, I would have cut him off way before the AAP recommended minimum. He started asking by crying when he was a newborn, then he started asking by signing at 6 months old. All babies ask for milk. I think the problem here is that it is not the breastmilk of a cow. For some reason when we express milk from the breast of a cow or goat, we are ok with it. Yet when we use the tools Heavenly Father has given us we are labeled as extremists.

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There is nothing extreme about extended breastfeeding. It is just outside the box that American’s have built for themselves. Our jingoistic idea that we are always right because we are America screw the rest of the world, could have something to do with “what is wrong with the world today”. 

In a society where we sell bottle props and fake hands to parents, lest they actually have to be involved in their child’s daily up bringing it AMAZES ME what is labeled as extreme. I would say those are extremes, but I am one of those extreme AP parents what do I know.

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I like bugs, just not these bugs

We are currently battling Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

With an insulin pump you have to move infusion sites every 3 to 5 days, according to the manufacturer. However, as an opportunity of being young we have to change more frequently due to skin senstivity. If we don’t, we encounter a bad site complete with poor insulin absorption and possibly a granuloma, if not full rejection. Yeah that has happened to us. Imagine waking up to an infusion site in the bed, a soaking wet infant, a sky high blood sugar ( did you know that meters will tell you to consult a medical professional instead of giving you a number? ), and a baby with a nasty sore.

A few weeks ago we had a site go bad early. It wasn’t any different than any other bad site, bad blood sugars all day, always needing a teeny bit more insulin for correction. For several days it looked fine then…bam. One day it started to swell. The next day it looked like this:

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It was draining and red and all sorts of gross. I immediately started in on colloidal silver and tea tree oil. The next day it was visibly better. We weren’t concerned really until ketones presented. So we scheduled a doctors appointment. We felt that we had the ketones under control, especially since his BG was not effected. After several treatments of colloidal silver, tea tree oil, and magnesium bentonite clay. I was able to get it to look like this in just 24 hours.

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It was red and swollen and the doctor freaked out. He started in on how he felt like it might need to be surgically drained and how the abscess was probably the size of a golf ball. We were immediately sent to the closest childrens hospital. Where we waited for several hours, despite being transferred by our network affiliated pedi. They had us with hold all food or liquids until the dr saw us. Have you ever had to withhold food and water from a starving toddler? Especially when you know that is what is required to flush the toxins (ketones) from his body. Then the doc comes in tells us he D is on the verge of being admitted and possible surgery. Of course, would put any mother into crisis mode. I am convinced they do it on purpose. He ordered a sonogram, labs, and IV fluids and Clydomyacin STAT. He allowed D to eat, but then drew labs. 2 hours later he freaks out about a high blood sugar.

Hello buddy you let my kid eat then drew his BG. I didn’t go to medical school, but even I can tell you it was going to be high. Immediately he says D can no longer eat, “because his sugar is out of control.” Not only that, but you can’t withhold food from a kid simply because his BG is high. Trust me he is eating healthy, TRUST me. Correct his BG and move on. Either take the labs first, or expect a high sugar. In fact, when I did try to correct him based on their BG reading his pump said his BG was spot on for his active insulin. MEANING, that his body was functioning exactly the way it was expected to, we were just waiting for his insulin to kick in. What a dumb@ss.

After all of this, we find out that the infection isn’t even half as bad as it was suspected. The sonogram confirmed that it did not even breech the first layer of skin and was millimeters wide. That is a pretty small golfball. In fact, I am pretty sure that Polly Pocket wouldn’t be able to play golf with one that size.

We head home and continue to treat with silver. Actually as I write this post I am able see that what we were doing was making a great difference. In fact had it not been for the ketones, we would have never gone into the doctor. I hate that too, because for days we were stuck in the what if game. What if we are making even more resistant bacteria because he already had one dose? What f he doesn’t get better? What if I end up putting my kid in the hospital?

I remember the real turning point was two days later when I put him in his high epsom salt bath and junk just came pouring out like snakes on a plane. Haha. It was gross but good. 

1 full week later here is what the site looks like, silver did the killin but the mud did the healing. The funny thing is that my husband, had to CALL the hospital days later for the results of the culture. Yup it’s MRSA, and according to whomever he spoke with, MRSA is the new Staph. They just expect all cultures to come back positive. ::eyerolls::

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So now that we have been exposed and infected, we will just be waiting for the next time for this to happen.

So what did I learn this time?

  1. Dont jump to conclusions
  2. Western medicine gains control by use of fear
  3. Follow your heart not your fear
  4. Educate yourself
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Setebaib

Let me preface this with:

This isn’t mean’t as a bash on those who do treat with juice, but is more intended as a different perspective on how things CAN work. It is intended more as a food for thought and should be taken as such.

Setebaib…? Sometimes I feel like diabetes is so backward, that it needs to be spelled backwards.  Diabetes is the only illness that I know of where people PURPOSEFULLY try to match their symptoms to their medication. Not only do the patients and caretakers do that, but they are regularly encouraged to do so by their doctors.

What do you mean Tiffany?

If I had high blood pressure, and was put on medication for said BP and instructed to come back in 3 months for a recheck. My doctor would not tell me to eat more salt if my BP was too low. Would he? No that would be stupid. He would adjust my medication and ask me to come back in 3 months.  The same is not true for diabetes or setebaib. I know an adult T1 diabetic who for several weeks was waking up with extreme lows (40s-60s). Instead of adjusting her basal insulin, her solution was to drink a protein drink before bed. My question is, if she wasn’t hungry and her BG was within range before bed, why was the influx of calories, carbohydrates, and protein necessary? The pure and simple answer is it wasn’t.  Of course this is no fault of her own, she was just doing what she has been trained to do by her doctor.

It’s a mindset

For some reason the medical community has adopted this mindset that since diabetes is not cureable and life sustaining medication is needed life must revolve around insulin. I do not subscribe to this philosophy. My child lives BECAUSE OF insulin, not FOR insulin.  My goal is to give him as little of it as possible without compromising his health. Another example, recently I was on a forum of diabetic mommies. I introduced ourselves and mentioned how insulin sensitive we were. A few hours later I received a reply about how said mommy’s child WAS insulin sensitive also. My first thought was OH AWESOME! somebody to share thoughts and concerns with. THEN she mentioned how her child got “BETTER” and is no longer so sensitive. I did not delve deeper into a conversation with this mommy and I know I am still new at this, but I don’t ever consider the necesity of more medication “BETTER.”  Honestly though, who would? Once again, this mommy is just following her doctor’s advice. The doctor says this is better so, so she must be. The only other thing I can think of was that her child was tanking out alot and that has resolved itself. 

It’s a Balancing Act

Yes, when we have lows I do still treat with carbs. Usually, we just nurse. Breastmilk is high in fat, carbs, and the best part is that breastmilk is alkalining. More on that later though. The point is that we chose our carbs carefully. If I were to give straight sugar then I am doing my son very little good.  Juice, unless done by you and consumed immediately, is not nutritious.  It’s true, google it and you will see most all vitamins and minerals oxidize and are worthless in juice within 5 to 15 minutes of being juiced. So by treating a low with commercial juice, I am doing nothing better than feeding my child a spoonful of sugar – not very nutritious. For those who are not nursing any longer, I have read that drinking a green smoothie will work well while not contributing to the sugar wheel. We have not treated with this yet simply because it is diffcult to get him to try anything other than breastmilk when he has a low, but I am hopeful for this solution when we are weaned.

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Real Food – Body and Face Wash Recipe

Photo Credit: Simple Mom

Slowly but surely we are moving more toward a family that will not only follow a traditional food lifestyle on the inside, but also the outside. This is a long process of trial and error, but we are getting there, as we finish up some of the last bits of our not so crunchy lifestyle (A Ginormous Bottle of Suave).

This recipe was largely inspired, by a family friend mentioning that Mary Kay was just a bit to chemical for her taste. She was right and alas it was what I had in my shower.  It started out as a recipe for a no poo shampoo that I saw online, that I tweaked for face and body, but feel free to try it out on your hair too. Now step inside my laboratory….I mean kitchen and I will show you the rest.

 

Ingredients

1/3 C Bronner’s Baby Mild Soap

2/3 C Coconut Water

2T Castor Oil

Essential Oils to Taste (Tea Tree Oil is great for Acne, I use Grapefruit for the scent)

 

This is a great, simple, and cheap face and body wash, that does not leave your skin feeling all chapped. The Castor oil is astringent, but also leaves the skin moisturized. There is a probably shelf life to this recipe, because of the Coconut water. But I have put it into an old Aveno pump bottle (if you want to be sure that all the nasty is out use a new pump bottle) to maximize it’s longevity at least dollarwise. I’ll use it until it either spoils or I use it all up. Whichever comes first. Smile

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6 Months

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Well it has been 6 Months today since our family life changed so dramatically. About this time 6 months ago, I was cuddling my baby that had a “stomach flu” hoping so much that I could make him feel better.  Little did I know everything that I THOUGHT was making him feel better was making him feel absolutely worse.

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You live without a WHAAAATTTTT

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Several weeks before The Event, our 15 month old microwave decided to check out on us. Of course, the most inconvienient time for a semi major appliance of any type to check out is between paychecks. Murphy’s law was of course the prevailing wind in this situation, and we found ourself a week out from our next paycheck. We could have dipped into savings to get a new one, but that was not the point. I was both annoyed and unprepared for the consumer battle of wits. You know the drill, you want the best deal, but you don’t want to be so cheap that your purchase craps out..OH FIFTEEN MONTHS AFTER PURCHASE!!!

Needless to say the decision to do nothing until the next paycheck. The week passed and we found that we weren’t really missing the microwave persay. I was enjoying the extra counterspace, and finding that by not relying on a microwave I was forced to plan what we were going to be eating for the night. That first week was one the healthiest and most budget friendly weeks we had in quite sometime. At the end of that week, my husband and I both agreed that it was almost liberating to live without that crazy whirring carosel.

Week 2 – Present – CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!
Since then it has been a sort of challenge to see how long we can live without a microwave before we cry uncle. I will say that while there have been a few times where it would have been convenient those times have been few and far between. We are now coming upon 6 months WITHOUT a microwave. Now I am not Amish, I am not on a Microwave strike. We both continue to use microwaves when at work or visiting, we have just found that it is not some

So What is it Like Living in the Fifties?
I remember when I got my first apartment and we were eating nothing but ramen and canned foods. I LOATHED the fact that I did not have a microwave. It was my absolute first purchase. OH HOW THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN..Now I see it as one less thing I have to worry about. I don’t think about BPA, on a regular basis…well because plastic will melt in the oven. Also foods just taste better from the stovetop and oven. Unlike a microwave I can setup my oven to cook when I want it to. This really tickles the inner geek in me. Finally, there is the idea of the a microwave sapping the vitamins, minerals, AND probiotics out of our food. Well… I don’t know if that is true for certain, but if it is there is my final benefit.

So tell me what do you live without that you were once convinced was a necesity?

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GAPS Probiotic Guacamole

This is really a no brainer. There is absolutely nothing to it, but I HAVE HAVE HAVE to share my find from the Mommypotamus.

Heather has developed this AWESOME, Cultured Salsa recipe. That we eat ALL the time. 

Part of the GAPS diet is to have at least one probiotic food with every meal. Well we are doing a FANTASTIC job of that. Sometimes like a little black dress you only have to rely on a few to make a variety of different foods. The way I make Probiotic Guacamole is simple.

GAPS Probiotic Guac.

1 Ripe Avocado

2T Salsa

Juice of Half a Lime

Mix Together for a tasty, probiotic treat.

 

Photo Credit: What’s Cooking America

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GAPS-ican Enchilada Dinner

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Hello my name is Tiffany and I am ADDICTED to Mexican food. The two dried spices we use the most are cumin and chilli powder. I have been known to go through a whole tube of one or both in a week. I’m just sayin…. Now that I have that off my chest. Here is an adapted original recipe. That my family LOVE, LOVE, LOVES!

 

I made this dish over the course of several nights. One night I saved the chicken off the Stock Chicken. The next night I made the tortillas, and the last night I put it all together.

I found the Tortilla Recipe here. I will say they are pretty darn good, and would also work well as a hushpuppy.

Enchilada Sauce

3 T Grapeseed Oil

1T Honeywell Almond Flour

1/4C Chilli Powder

2C Chicken Stock

7oz Tomato Paste (1 Jar)

1tsp Dried Oregano

1tsp Ground Cumin

In a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute. Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add stock, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.  (Adapted from Emeril’s Easy Enchilada Sauce)

GAPS-ican Enchiladas

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5-6 GAPS Friendly Tortillas

1/2 Boiled Chicken (great to use Stock Chicken)

1/4C Chopped Organic Onion

1C Organic Baby Lettuce

Enchilada Sauce

Grated Mozzarella Cheese (Optional)

 

Pre-heat Oven to 350, Line bottom of an 8×8 Baking Dish with Tortillas, Top with Chicken, evenly distribute spinach and onion, pour some (not all) enchilada sauce over dish (reserve the rest for dressing or next meal). Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Grate cheese over enchiladas  to taste and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until bubbly.  Serve with grilled veggies and guacamole.

 

Serves: 3 – 4 Portions

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The lesser of two evils??????

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So one of the “great” things about being on an insulin pump, is that you don’t have to stick yourself or your child several times a day (once a meal). This really appealed to us. No body wants to hurt their baby several times a day . So the idea of only poking my son every 3 – 5 days really appealed to us. I mean after all we were already poking him 10 times a day for BG testing.

When we left the hospital we had decided to change sites every 4 days. I even set a reminder on my phone. That did not last long at all. The very first site we put in D’s little body got fire engine, angry red, by day 3. The site was on his butt, inside his diaper. I wasn’t sure if the inflammation was due to him falling and bumping his rear on an hourly basis, or what. So we agreed to pay more attention to them. We have now had two infected sites, one of which fell out over night…YIPES. If we do not change his infusion site every 2 days. Yes I said EVERY OTHER DAY, then he will have a nasty red pock for weeks to come. There was a time when we were running out of places to stick this poor boy. PLUS if we do not change our infusion sites every 3 insulin absorption goes to pot and the whole system becomes ineffectual.

I am being very vain here, but up until now my child had not a scar or a blemish on his body. He has creamy white skin and sandy red hair.  I worry about how these marks are going to heal on him.  Honestly it has kept me from moving his infusion sites to his belly, for fear of long term scaring. Growing up is hard enough, but to be “disfigured” is even harder.  So when he grows up and starts going to attend swim parties (We live in Texas there are 3 pools to every person), or even swim practices (if he follows after me), I don’t want him to have yet another thing to be self conscious about. At least on his legs, his leg hair will hide it, and despite the propensity for teenagers to show their butts hopefully that will be covered….most of the time.

We know for an absolute fact that this reaction is caused by insulin. Simply because we had a bout of flu-ish symptoms around Thanksgiving. For 2 days, D ran fever in the 103 range and we battled ketones for the entire time.  In that time, D’s insulin usage skyrocketed to over double his normal usage, and in that time his site went bad within hours of being placed.  When I say the site went bad, I mean it lit up like the Christmas lights outside and formed a little granuloma. I am sure some would say that it could have been because he was sick, but I do not think so.

So now I am left to wonder what the insulin is doing inside of his body. Here is where the lesser of two evils comes in. Obviously he has to have insulin to survive, but this constant inflammation cannot be good for his system.  I still pray that one day in his life we will find a cure for this. Whether it be diet or otherwise. Insulin is just a bandaid on a gushing wound and I honestly get a pit in my stomach when I think about this long term.

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