Something like a Duck

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's not a cat

Sounds Souper


Now that I have tooted my horn, prepare to hear the sirens… My assignment for Operation 2012 Diabetes Blog Week was easy cheesy yesterday. My mission? Share our quack-a-lastic diabetes life with the world.  Today’s mission? Show the ‘uh-oh’ poopie side of it. Sometimes I can suck the air out of a black hole. I can drain the last bit of patience by proving impossibly impatient. Hard to believe, but I have reeeeediculous expectations. Everyone – from the patient-registry nurse to the hospital valet, the innocent pharmacist behind the counter (standing a paranoid’s length from me…well played), to my husband and children –  they must keep pace! There is an exorbitant amount of pressure straddled on these poor folks. My visions of sugar (free)plum fairies and choreographed unicorns must be executed to perfection. It’s a damn hard thing to contend with…on my part to delegate so much scrutiny; on the world’s part to not maim me with it. Try to apply that special “talent” to a disease who bothers little with the rules. I am so hyper-vigilant about the blood sugars charting across that Dexcom screen that I stalk them like a lioness hunting ravioli on the Serengeti . It is a wee-bit of a joke around these parts (because if humor can’t fix it, neither will therapy), but if you happen to say my son’s name aloud he will scream a number back at you. Doesn’t matter if you were actually just hollering his name, this kid will squeal a reading it t-minus 5 seconds flat. It has become like diabetic tourettes.

“Hey, Zach…”  “149!

“Pick up your toys, Zach” “121

“Who wants to go to the z-” “59

It hasn’t even been a year that he has been diagnosed, but I have brain-washed my boy. Sure, it could be a good thing if it wasn’t a bad one. Neither he nor the world should be so constantly harassed. My most serious fault with this disease? Breaking myself (and others) with impossible goals. I am trying to accept that even if I cannot control diabetes, that does not mean it controls my son. I think that is the snag in the fabric…the fear of losing my child (physically or emotionally) to such a beast.

When my oldest, Josh, was in preschool he was assigned the task of drawing a picture of someone truly super in his life. He brought home a picture of the loveliest stick-figure girl I’d ever seen. In her two hands she held a bowl and a spoon. My son had drawn his mother because “she is the best person in the whole world. and she loves to eat soup. She is really SOUPER!!”

I have to remember that our best efforts are what matter, even if they cannot guarantee the best results. Being right is only a matter of perspective. Josh was right…I love soup. I am souper. I need to stop and recognize the right kind of wrongs I have been misunderstanding.

I can’t say I won’t fight, because I can never imagine making peace with this disease. I do, however, promise to try and play nice with others while I kick the crap out of the glucose goblins.

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A Mused



Today’s topic could not have come at a better time! As part of the 2012 Diabetes Blog Week (created and hosted by blogger Karen Graffeo @Bittersweet), participating bloggers are challenged to write about predetermined topics for selected days. Tuesday is all about the GREAT that we do for the diabetes in our life! Well, let me let you know this morning was a hell-of-a-holy-hiccup mess!!  My little  ‘sugar hero’ has yet another addition to his long growing list of health complications. So, truth be told, I have had my angry eyes on all day. I was set to impale the world with terrible, horrible, time-out-corner kind of words. Buuut I clicked on the computer and saw this shining light of Hope. Type 1 diabetes sucks. There is little more that can be said to truly capture the ‘spirit’ of this disease. Having to contend with the in’s and out’s of it at such a young age is the suckiest part of this turd. Zachary David is sensational! He is funny and wild and creative. If my boy is going to have diabetes, then gosh darn it! Diabetes is going to have some of my boy! His diagnosis has come with the absolute vow that I would never let this disease be bigger than his childhood, and it will never be any less AWESOME than he is. He WILL BE 9 years old! He WILL BE inspired!

My Zach’s broken pancreas has become my muse. What have I done for the cause!? I have made diabetes:

Customized & Cute!!

When Zach got pumped, Rufus did too. I ‘upgraded’ a simple pedometer to a pump, sewed an infusion site in, and I decorated his shirt to show Team Slap Shot spirit!! Then when the 5 year old daughter of a friend was diagnosed and given a ‘boy’ bear, I fixed that as well. Say hello to our one and only Rufulina Ballerina~ the diabetic she-bear!!

A Jive Vibe!! 

I made a request to my son’s  teacher (who is a music genius) to create our very own diabetes rap song! AND I had my oldest son perform it live at their school to show his brother support!!

Impossibly Cool!!

I contacted a friend from high school (who just happens to be an amazing artist) and encouraged him to create a one-of -a- kind HALO 4 helmet for the JDRF. It will be put on display for charity events, travel to hospitals and diabetic clinics, and ultimately be auctioned at our local chapter’s gala dinner! Once our helmet is complete (with JDRF logo and all), it will be the first and only of it’s kind. !!!!

Neurotic & Precise!!

Any and all diabetics entering my home have super special sugar spots delegated to all things diabetes. This place is pretty much the “Graceland” for Sugar Boogers. 🙂

Story Book Special!!

The Great Zach Attack is being sketched as we speak.





A Team Effort!!

I hand drew our ‘Team Slap Shots’ logo, and with the help of friends (and my husband as The Big Boss) we ‘smacked’ out 35 team shirts to support my boy! Even big brother Josh helped out with his stellar modeling skills.


There is hardly a day that doesn’t see me on the verge of pelting a small people-person with a tippy cup or shoe. But there is never EVER a day that doesn’t see me smothering them with my efforts of infinite Love. A deluge of continuous crap could pour from the Heavens onto my head all the days of my life! As long as I knew that my reach would deliver my children bigger and brighter and better days, who cares that this fight leaves me broken or scarred. A Scraped Crusader knows no other way…

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Its All About a Clever Slogan…

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A Friend of the Friend I Have Not Met



True Story: I am the parent of a Type 1 diabetic. There is no denying the ‘dianamics‘ (a clever play on words there!) that saturate this family, BUT it is not our family. It is not this blog. It is but one more contribution of crazy this household puts out into the Universe. You’re welcome.

That being said, this week will indeed be sugar-coated and painfully sweet. Something Like a Duck will be participating in the 2012 Diabetes Blog Week (because being completely new to the blogosphere isn’t over-whelming enough! it’s like registering to become a voter and then running for president at the first polling) It is the creation of blogger Karen Graffeo at bittersweetdiabetes.com. Participants will be blogging daily on pre-determined topics focused on the ‘Big D‘. The Scoop Du Jour?? Find a Friend. Our posts are suppose to introduce other diabetic blogsites to the world via a list of blogs we read or follow or really super admire.

Truer story: I am the kind of girl that finds the perfect pair of sneakers and wears them until the seams pop. The pair of kicks that are precariously pinched together with duck tape and Gorilla glue. When my Sugar Baby went full throttle with the ‘betes, I googled ‘diabetic terms’ (being that the Swahili the doctors were throwing at me just wasn’t clicking). I meant to find the science, but I instead found the suuuuperstar!!! (and that ‘superstar’ better be a Mary Catherine Gallagher SuperStar you are reading!)

Sixuntilme had a wonderful little Terms of Endearment that made me laugh and cry and drink. I have tried (on rare occasion) to venture away from the blog. Someone somewhere spoke Sarcasm fluently and her name is Kerri. She was educational without being somniferous . She was honest, not self-righteous. I am a duck, and this site QUACKS!! It is blatantly real. I was (and am) so new to this that I need to know that a little blood and bruising is okay. And what’s more, if a little bit of me (my faith, my strength, my sanity) is hemorrhaging, I don’t need the world to throw Hello Kitty band-aids at my head. This website is like the modern version of ancient blood letting.  It rids me of a lot of anxiety and confusion (and sometimes water weight, if I spend too long at the computer forgetting the little things like food and water). I have perused the internet aisles trying on other ‘shoes.’ Although I appreciate the flourish of the other sites, I really am a size sixuntilme. Kerri Sparling’s blog does include guest spots that I have enjoyed. Sometimes it’s enough to slip onto their site and click until the clucks come home. But I don’t really know where home is… So here I am all set to recommend the friend of a friend (Hello, Diabetes!) that I haven’t even met ( Hello, Fellow Bloggers!).  😦

Now, upon diagnosis I did sign onto juvenation. It is the JDRF created web-community for all things Type 1. You can select the most pertinent topics for your D-life and go from there. I have perused the Lemonade Life writings, exhausted the Diabetes Mine site, and cyber-stalked  Nick Jonas and Bobby Clarke.  They each offer a different vibe to the ‘dia-lemmas‘ we face.

Fingers-crossed that Something Like a Duck will someday grow-up to be a set site for followers to learn from. Maybe even offer a little HA-HA to this hoo-hah of a disease. Maybe become the ‘jive vibe’ that all families (diabetic or not) have so longed for? If nothing else, it can be the handshake that introduces a few of you to new friends to see you through to the other side of the tunnel.  Best of luck on the long road’s travel!!

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I think, therefore I am

In response to Descartes thinking and therefore being I offer this: I did. Therefore I am exhausted.

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Enthusiasm is awesome

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When you can hold a spatula and a wooden spoon and be this freaking pumped, you are awesome! I may not be four anymore, but I do have a pretty killer little four year old role model to look up to. Maybe I’ll grow up to be as happy as him.

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Diabetes looks like…

Diabetes looks like...

It takes an arsenal of supplies to keep Oliver (the Plastic Pancreas) and Dexter (the best CGM eeeeever) working. And their hard work is what keeps our boy standing!

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Sugar is Sweet, Until it is not

As a parent, I know my children are the brightest and the cutest and the sweetest. If a fairy farted magical glitter, then my boys would out-shimmer even that gold. HAHAHAHA! I’m sorry, that waddled like a big fat cat! Okay. So, truth be told my boys can be trolls sometimes. They are mischievous monkeys. Happy, spry, creative little monsters. But my one boy, Zach, really is the sweetest.

Just last June (2011) we stumbled upon the horrors of Type 1 diabetes as my son lay in the ICU saturated with sugars at the 819 level. We are a rather educated bunch in this house (or so I fancy myself), so the frustration at being completely ignorant to the symptoms (and ultimately the disease) was phenomenal! Upon diagnosis, my husband and I sat startled and silent. We googled, WebMd’ed, ASKed. “Type 1 diabetes” searches spiked a million percent that day. We had siblings and parents and friends calling, suggesting, researching, praying. It was our fast-paced frantic life on Red Bull poured into a shot of espresso while reeling from a crack-is-whack roller coaster. That often heard little nugget of wisdom was suddenly applicable: We blinked and almost missed it. Life happened. Within days, the whole world sat on its head. Here we were a perfectly normal bunch of lunatics living average lives. Three boys from age 10 to age 3 running amok with volumes as loud as their personalities. A husband knee deep in business and bills. And I with my kerchief, Papa in his cap, had just settled down for our long winter’s nap. !? Maybe not so much on that last one, but you get the drift. It was immediate our lives would change, obvious it must to ensure certain small humans were happy and healthy.

So much more than our diets, our schedules, or our faith would be altered by this disease. I found my creativity actually being inspired by this fight! Everyday with diabetes is a challenge. As a caretaker to a juvenile with diabetes, the pursuits are relentless and the efforts constant. But how could I as a parent reach the necessary goals, complete basic upkeep with an iota of cool to keep my 8 year old boy focused and fun? Well, I first had to kidnap the power of positive back from the depths of complacency. Somewhere over the years, I forgot how to believe. I guess I figured if I was already on board with the action, who cared about the cause or the effect. Not good. Not good at all. So first things first, if we were going to this, we were going to do it BEST! When one member of the team sinks, everyone else had better start swimming really hard to keep him afloat. We decided as a family that WE were diagnosed and that WE would abide by the treatment plans (minus the actual insulin/syringe thingee) to see us to the finish line. We o.c.d.’ed the heck out of our supplies, allocated special d-spots in the home for testing, and counted and tagged every single chip/ goldfish cracker/ grape in a 2 mile radius. We tagged that child like prize winning buck in deer season: medical alert bracelet, a necklace, glucose tabs in every pocket, and a syringe sewn into his britches. Certainly I joke!! Just checking to see who was actually still reading…. Anyhow, we were very strategic about our attack against the ‘betes. But our 6 month 3D-anniversary (the diabetic diagnosis date) was fast approaching and I hadn’t seen the light shine in my boy. We were set to start an insulin pump in no time, and then inspiration hit! I sat in the silence only the nights can know in this house and played on the computer. I created for Zach and his new plastic pancreas a certificate. Something to commemorate the beginning of a forever friendship between a boy and his bomba (that is Spanish for pump. see!? we really are fancy pants!).

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Organized Chaos

Organized Chaos

Disaster defense in a travel-ready pack!

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A hatched idea…

My childhood was as equally tormented as tormenting. The perfect balance of victim/ruffian. Nothing too awkward about my awkward pubescence. Nose-dive into adulthood? Very standard by all means: a wife by age 20, a mother by 21, 23, and again at 27 (are you thinking what I’m thinking… “why didn’t she just get cable in the bedroom!?”). House? check. Dogs? check. Minivan? check, check. And through it all, a voice in the thick of my thoughts whispered, “Where are you?”  I was always on ball with the feat at hand whether it be wrestling a fork from a back-flipping toddler or post-it-noting my bedroom romance reminders (“lock door for privacy. theirs not ours”). I was attentive to the details (there is a perfect crescent crusted booger on the left side of the third-row bench in the van. it was not there yesterday), and both over-reactive and over-whelmed by their discovery.

Nary a life event occurred without my witness to it. But, where in the hell was I!? I knew where the Oxy White Out was. I knew where the hubby’s screw driver was. The little microscopic light saber that comes with the LEGO Jedi? It’s in between the love seat cushions (along with the Dorito and magic marker). And the work file saved under the ‘Work File’ drive that no one could figure out was saved there? I knew where that was too. Why, o why, then did I not know where I was!? I would look in my marriage. I searched through my parenting. The vast desert land of my career? Not there either (although the visual of the Spaceballs scene where they are ‘combing’ the desert and the guy with the giant pick hollers “We ain’t found sh#t!” does come to mind). I had established how I was; neurotic, wound-up, constant, exhausting, and exhausted. And that was what was keeping me from finding who I am. Then it happened! My father’s voice blared at me, “You know, Chris, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s going to be…” “A CAT, Daddy!! A really fat cat…” heeheehee. You have to understand my father and I can never pass up the chance to out-smart(ass) each other.  Joking aside, this was it!! My life motto was born then and there:

Accept the obvious. It exists for a reason.

Better than that, be the obvious. If its your nature to laugh, then please do. If you are the perpetual pessimist, then negative-Nelly it is! Be who I am however it meant being. So, balls-to-the-wall drunk with new passion and enthusiasm I listened to another voice (and hers comes complete with interpretive dance),  “WRITE!!!” All of my life I had washed the world in words. They were (and remain) my woobie.  I had them wrapped tight around my first love, strangling my first heartbreak, and swaddling my sweet babies. I have journals and notepads,  sticky notes and Hallmark cards drenched in my written verse (that is hand written work, folks. obviously I am of a dying breed). Katie spake and thus the  clouds did part to reveal a truer Heaven: “You, Christina (Almighty and Brilliant of Mind), exist! Prove it. Become one with the Blogosphere!” And so shall it be. To the beginning of something beautiful (and more than likely incriminating), I offer a toast…literally. It is snack 0’clock on my watch and a Nutella on wheat over there is conspiring to ruin my waistline.

I offer myself to the entirety of the world in hopes that I find me first. Before the lunatic does. And here’s to hoping that that is not one and the same person…

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